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I don't know what to do.

AmberAmber
posted 7 months 2 weeks ago
I had a pretty big meltdown today after the sixth pregnancy announcement in the last 3 weeks.
I don't know what to do. I've tried continuing to socialise with pregnant friends but I find it incredibly hard and don't really enjoy it. I feel awful just cutting them out of my life though. It doesn't seem right, especially when many of them have been incredibly supportive of me over the last couple of years.
One of my closest friends told me her news yesterday. She's preg with her third. She said that she wishes it could be me and not her that was pregnant. Not because her pregnancy wasn't planned or very much wanted, but because she knows how much I've suffered... And that she desperately, desperately wants it for me. How can I just cut someone so loving out of my life? Yet I don't feel that I can speak to her or see her at the moment either? Maybe later, after my cycle of mitochondrial donation, which BTW I'll start in February. If it's successful, I'll be finally free from this constant inability to be around pregnant women... I just want infertility to be OUT of my life. I hate this! What do you do?


LindaGeoLindaGeo
posted 7 months 2 weeks ago
What a horrible situation to be in. I have very few good friends as I am quite a private and solitary person which has rarely been a positive thing, until IVF. I can't be around pregnant talk. Pregnant people are bearable if they don't talk about their pregnancy. For the first time being a 'loner' has come in handy as withdrawing from pregnant people hasn't meant losing good friends. I can't imagine having to choose between loving friends and your own emotional wellbeing. Could you have a chat with your pregnant friends and ask them to keep their pregnant talk to a minimum when you are around? Would they understand? I hope you find a way to get through.

bethanybethany
posted 7 months 2 weeks ago
My bff told me recently that she is 8 wks pregnant with her 2nd baby. She wanted us to be the first to know as a lot of our friends haven't told us they are pregnant. So we have found out from gossips...
A couple of days ago she went on about how much she hates being pregnant, how sick she feels, how fat she is going to get and how lucky I am that I won't have to get fat. She knows every single detail about my struggle. She knows how much I want to be a mom! I swear sometimes she doesn't think... And it hurts. I had a good cry to DH. I really am happy for her! But this is so hard to listen to complaints about pregnancy from somebody who's going to have 2nd child when you have none and trying so hard and nothing works...

DawnTTCDawnTTC
posted 7 months 1 week ago
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!

StelllaStellla
posted 7 months 1 week ago

DawnTTC said:
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!
Yes sometimes it is hard to show your happiness for a friend. I'm guessing you haven't been struggling for a long time with infertility? I assume you've been ttcing less than a year. What Amber has described is an extremely common reaction that people, who are struggling with infertility, have when friends announce their pregnancies. It is absolutely possible to be happy for them and devastated for yourself at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. Please don't judge. We are all here to support each other.

StelllaStellla
posted 7 months 1 week ago
Amber, it is tough. I can relate. With not-so-close friends, it's best just to take some subtle action to protect yourself. Politely decline invitations to baby showers, for instance. Just think up some appropriate excuse why you can't be there. You can also send a little gift. Try to avoid situations where you'll be surrounded by pregnant people and babies.

It sounds like you have some great friends, though. These ones would understand if you said that you're really happy for them but sad for yourself. You might just say that you really treasure their friendship but that you may need to keep a bit of distance occasionally. But that you love her and really care about her baby. Say that you would like her to continue to include you (for instance, with the baby shower etc). Ask would she understand if you occasionally said that you need to sit this or that social occasion etc out. Another trick... When I'd had a tough day with pregnancy announcements, baby showers etc... Go home, run a hot bath and pour yourself a glass of red!

Time4babyTime4baby
posted 7 months 1 week ago

DawnTTC said:
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!
When you're struggling with infertility YES it is possible not to be completely happy for someone else because you can't work past your own pain. AND THIS IS ACTUALLY OKAY. It is a NORMAL REACTION for how some people process emotional pain of this kind. I suggest you come back when you have gone through the long struggle and are still waiting for a hint of success. People don't always have to share the thoughts that pop into their heads. Sometimes there is a place and a time. And as it was mentioned above, WE'RE HERE TO SUPPORT.

Time4babyTime4baby
posted 7 months 1 week ago
It's hard, isn't it? I recommend an old fashion postal letter - one that unknowingly allows the person more time to think than an email and is more personalised.

For me I was really lucky that the few people I was close to simply accepted that for a time period I couldn't spend time with them. I couldn't be in contact with them. In many ways I needed them to be the bigger person. Knowing what I know now I might have even said to them, "I don't mean to not see you, I might just not be able to help it. I might even need you to forgive when I am ready to spend lots of time with you again.". "I don't want to interfere with your happiness, give me time and I'll be back".

I think a lot of people don't realise that we distance ourselves not to drag them into our sadness even more when they should be joyful.

AmberAmber
posted 7 months 1 week ago

DawnTTC said:
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!
Believe me, I hate myself for feeling the way I do. Everyone deals with infertility differently. And yes it has turned me into quite a b**ch. Have you any suggestions on how to change my thinking? How do you cope? I saw a counselor for a while... She didn't help much.

DawnTTCDawnTTC
posted 7 months 1 week ago

Amber said:

DawnTTC said:
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!
Believe me, I hate myself for feeling the way I do. Everyone deals with infertility differently. And yes it has turned me into quite a b**ch. Have you any suggestions on how to change my thinking? How do you cope? I saw a counselor for a while... She didn't help much.


Please don't hate yourself, regardless of your feelings. I don't feel I "cope" as I don't really regard it to be an issue to "cope with" as such. Does that make sense? For me infertility is something that just happens. Pretty much the same as pregnancy just happens to others. It's totally random and largely outside of my control.

While I agree that you might need some down time to process your feelings away from what's upsetting you, I don't think that cutting off your close friends will serve you in the longer term. They have loved and supported you. And will continue to do so, if they're as loving and kind as what you're suggesting.

I think you probably need to start working with a really good therapist. Ask everyone you know if they can recommend someone. You need help to change your thinking about your situation. Sometimes life just sucks. I can empathize with that part but I largely believe in choice and not becoming a victim of circumstance. If one counselor didn't work then keep looking until you find someone you click with. If you're feeling constant disappointment then there are ways to deal with your feelings and refocus your energies. I'd definitely look for someone who can give you the tools you might need to lift yourself up.

Megan1Megan1
posted 7 months 1 week ago

DawnTTC said:
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!
When someone has just painfully & honestly poured their heart out in the way Amber just has, I really feel that the reply you shared is just way too flippant. What is your experience with infertility? Maybe you are one of the lucky few who can get through it without being too emotionally affected. I would say it's quite unusual for someone struggling through IVF or miscarriage (for example) to view close friends' pregnancies as simply 'not an issue'. I'm not going to try to explain further. Your concept of not becoming a 'victim of circumstance' is easier said than done. Of course, we all aim for that but I'm not sure it comes across as helpful advice in this context.

Megan1Megan1
posted 7 months 1 week ago
Amber, your friend does sound lovely. And I'm sure it won't get to the point where you'll need to cut her out of your life. She sounds very sensitive. She's the kind of person who would hopefully understand if you needed to take a bit of time apart from her. Or if you told her that as happy as you are for her, you aren't ready to share every detail of the pg with her. I don't think your friendship needs to suffer in the long run. You don't have to cut her off. As Time4baby said, your feelings are normal and are just as valid as hers. Not wanting to see her or speak to her just now is totally understandable. And in your shoes, I would probably just be honest. Tell her how you feel. And take some space. You've had such a hard time lately. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself. I think she'll understand that it's nothing personal. It's just something you need to do for yourself.

kattykattykattykatty
posted 7 months 1 week ago

DawnTTC said:
Really? I'm sorry I'm new here. I'm a bit shocked as I've just read another thread similar. Are you really unable to be happy for a loving and close friend? Are you seeing anyone that you can talk to about this? How can you not support a friend who's pregnant? I'm also ttcing, but I'm so happy when my friends or family tell me pregnancy news. Last week my sis told me she's expecting. I'm so glad and so excited!
I'm going to assume that you haven't been struggling for long. Otherwise, you'd understand just how awful it is to feel the way the OP does.

OP, I know exactly how you feel. I ended up becoming a bit of a hermit (which I really would NOT recommend) because it was all just too much to cope with. I really don't know what the answer is. Just do whatever you need to do to be OK. If that means declining an invitation sometimes through self-preservation then so be it.

My heart goes out to you. It really does. xx

AmberAmber
posted 7 months 1 week ago
Thank you all for your understanding. I feel a bit like a stuck record carrying on about my issues with others' pregnancies. I am definitely tempted to take the hermit route. I don't know if it's for the best. My friends would definitely understand if I choose not to see them for a while though.

@DawnTTC, thanks for answering my question. Of course, I've been asking around for a good counselor, but I keep getting directed back to the one I saw, who's apparently the best (specialises in IVF). However, I don't think that my reaction is as abnormal as you seem to think. My counselor says that most women in my situation feel this way to some extent. I don't know what you personally are going through that doesn't warrant "coping with". But in my experience, 5 years of primary infertility and 3 failed IVF cycles are issues that require coping. If you can honestly see these experiences objectively and without emotion - as "things that just happen" - even when in the midst of them, then count yourself very lucky indeed! You have a rare level of personal strength. If, in addition, you can be surrounded by pregnant women and feel completely neutral about it, whilst experiencing the emotional side effects of the hormones in a stim cycle, count yourself doubly lucky! I think most women would struggle with it.

tarraB5tarraB5
posted 7 months 1 week ago
I don't really have time to write a long, well thought out reply, but I wanted to say you're not the only one who feels this way and is affected by IVF and infertility this way. It is normal. For most of us, we don't get a say in whether or not we find it hard, it just IS. Those who see it differently, well, lucky them!

I read your threads. It's like reading my own thoughts. Sometimes I sit there shaking my head at how spot-on they are. My heart just goes out to you so much. Don't feel guilty for feeling the way you do! There are so so many of us who are nodding along. And we all have our good days and bad. It doesn't mean we don't love our friends. It doesn't mean we wish them to struggle the same as we do. It's just hard sometimes to be around it.

Sending you lots of hugs. I hope things turn around for you very soon, I really do.

LesliePLeslieP
posted 7 months 1 week ago
I really struggle with the same feelings. As far as I can tell so do 99% of us. I guess it's the flip side of the high level of commitment we need to slog it out on the TTC journey. Powerful emotions got us here, and keep us going. Add in the drugs, the financial pressure, the physical discomfort and the endless waiting, and there is bound to be some fall-out.

What I do is try to connect with my "new mother friends" about other things than pregnancy/babies. This is difficult when they are in the first flush of excitement. But maybe you could do something like a gym or spa session, or an evening class or see a play or something with them. So there is another focus than endless discussions about bubs. Plus it's good for them to do something just for themselves for an hour or two a week (rather than partner/baby). So you actually wind up getting credit as a good friend while at the same time being protective of your own well-being.

I also just straight out ask them not to actually complain to me about pregnancy/new bub. I actively change the subject, or get up and go to the bathroom or whatever when they start. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. They have plenty of other people to have that discussion with. It's much easier to share their joy and excitement when you are not also expected to sympathise at the same time.

SaviSSaviS
posted 7 months 1 week ago
It is a very difficult situation... You want to be supportive of your good friend but you also need to protect yourself emotionally. You are a good friend as you want to be supportive to your friend it's just that you have to put your own emotional needs first.

I found writing a letter to each of my closest friends about what we were going through helped them understand better that I wasn't shutting them out of my life. I often find it easier to express myself on paper rather than in actual conversations. It's my natural instinct to appear strong and in control even if I'm crumbling inside. After each friend read their respective letter they have been much more understanding of how difficult every step of ivf is. For those pregnant friends that I'm not close to or haven't told about ivf, I usually avoid them until the baby has been born and is at least a few months old. Even then I avoid baby topics as much as possible. I try to do non-baby things with them like movies, dinners out etc but it can be difficult. I'm sure I've lost a few friends this way. So I'm not sure I'd recommend this. I've only done this because I'm not sure if I can handle having everyone know about our ivf journey. It's often me being strong for other people, including my own family and I don't have the strength to carry everyone through our journey.

Talk to your friend. She sounds perceptive to your needs. I'm sure she'll understand that you might need some physical space from her pregnancy to protect your emotional self.

cheybloomcheybloom
posted 7 months 1 week ago
I totally understand how you feel. I had multiple m/c's. It was so hard to be happy for friends who announced their pregnancies when I had just lost another baby. I wish I could tell you what to do to make things easier. The only thing that made it better for me was to be pregnant and keep the baby. Sadly that's not something we have control over.
The way you feel is very normal. It is unbelievably painful. I did, in fact, cut several people out of my life. One of them was a good friend. I know now she understood as we have reconnected. I wanted to be 'strong ' enough to keep facing pregnant friends, but I truly could not. I felt awful. My DH used to tell me it was okay, it would pass and I would be friends again with them if they were true friends. I remember a pregnant friend telling me once that they had to stop and think for a moment, that my avoidance etc wasn't about them, it was my situation, about me. This helped her not to take my reactions personally I guess.
Wishing you all the best!

camillacamilla
posted 7 months 1 week ago
I can definitely see where you're coming from. I have only been TTC for about 17 months. It may seem not a lot as some of you have been trying for 4+ years. But I can relate. I often feel quite jealous when other people mention yet again another person that I know who has fallen pregnant straight up. It's hard to see announcement posts on fb. So I can only imagine how difficult it would be once I had been TTC for a long time and faced many battles.

luizzaluizza
posted 7 months 1 week ago
I'm so sorry and like so many others can absolutely understand how you feel...
Last year ago a good friend of mine who knew our struggles wanted to start TTC. She asked for advice, so I gave her some info... She fell within 2 months. We were 4 weeks apart when I lost it. I couldn't do anything about it. I love her, but my pain was too hard. Now my coworker is PG after her first try. And I'm really finding it hard as I see her almost every day, we go for lunch together, sometimes we go home together. She sort of tries to be sensitive as much as she can, but I'm still a bit distant. I'm also now going through my 2nd mc... She's being really good and giving me space. My psychologist said it’s perfectly normal. It's our way of protecting ourselves from more harm. The distance allows you to cope, to not become overwhelmed and also doesn't then hinder your own TTC journey further by adding an additional level of stress to an already stressful situation. You need to be in a more positive mind frame. Well as much as you possibly can. And being around pregnant friends who discuss their pregnancy and their scans and names etc. is not always what we need to be hearing as it, well, hurts.

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